Hibiscus is a shrub that is considered to be small, reaching up to 16 ft (5 m) in height, and is cultivated as an ornamental shrub. Sometimes its tender leaves are consumed as a substitute for spinach, as well as the flowers, either raw or cooked, and are also used as a colorant. Learn all about how and when to prune hibiscus for winter in this article.
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Why Prune Hibiscus for Winter
Why Prune Hibiscus for Winter? Hibiscus has a terminal type of flower growth, that is, the flowers grow at the end of each branch. Pruning will encourage growth and increase flower production if the hibiscus is in good condition. However, if it deteriorates, pruning helps to stop the damage and prevent further mishaps in the development of the hibiscus. It is quite common that it blooms for several seasons, but at some point, it stagnates, in this case, pruning promotes its regrowth.
Another reason to prune hibiscus for winter is that it allows you to detect the Hibiscus beetle and if it appears, you can eliminate it in time. To eradicate the hibiscus beetle, you should prune the hibiscus to remove the most affected branches and then apply an insecticide to the hibiscus beetle.
Yellow leaves on hibiscus are caused by various reasons such as overwatering or lack of light, but also hibiscus have yellow leaves due to viruses and fungi. Pruning helps to control hibiscus problems
When to Prune Hibiscus for Winter
When to Prune Hibiscus for Winter? The ideal time to prune a hibiscus for winter varies according to many factors. Among them are the climate, age, and type of pruning among others. We will analyze here some of the most common situations.
Undoubtedly, one of the most important factors in selecting the time to prune hibiscus for winter is the climate. If your hibiscus is planted in a warm climate, where winters rarely have frosts, you can prune in late autumn. On the other hand, if there are several touches of frost during the winter, you should never prune in autumn, but wait until early spring.
If you grow hibiscus in pots, the time of pruning will vary depending on where you place the pot. If the hibiscus pot is located in a place with good lighting, where you will have a somewhat warm climate, you can prune the hibiscus in autumn. On the other hand, if you will keep it in a room with poor lighting and without any kind of heating, it is better not to prune the hibiscus until spring.
In the case of hibiscus that is several years old, and what you will do is a hard pruning, it should never be done in autumn or winter (unless it is grown in tropical areas). Always wait until early spring. This will allow the healing of the wounds to begin once the pruning is done.
So, when to prune the hibiscus for the winter? It all depends on the climate where you have planted your hibiscus. Follow the tips above to choose the best time to prune your hibiscus for winter.
Hibiscus Pruning Tools
You already know when to prune the hibiscus for the winter, now I will tell you which are the best tools to use to make a correct pruning of the hibiscus. You will need the following tools to prune hibiscus for winter:
Pruning shears: these can be the classic bypass shears, anvil type, with a long handle. You will have to analyze it according to the thickness of the branches to be cut, and the accessibility you have to the branch.
Saw: you will rarely need a saw when pruning your hibiscus, but in the case of a plant with very thick branches it may be necessary.
Safety goggles: these will protect your eyes during the task. Many gardeners do without them, but we recommend their use.
Gloves: as well as goggles, it is more than advisable to use them as protection, in this case for your hands.
Always remember to keep tools sharp and disinfect them before pruning.
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How to Prune Hibiscus for Winter
Let’s see step by step how to prune hibiscus for winter.
- Step 1: The first thing to do before you start pruning hibiscus for winter is to disinfect your tools. Once sterilized, let them rest for a while to make the disinfection more efficient.
- Step 2: Once you have disinfected your pruning shears or saw, plan your hibiscus pruning. Do not start cutting without planning, or the shrub will end up with a strange and unattractive shape. Take some time to observe the plant and define what you will cut.
- Step 3: The first thing you should do is to cut out all those dead, diseased, pest-attacked, and poorly developed branches. It will be very easy for you to recognize which hibiscus branches you should prune.
- Step 4: The best thing to do is to carry out regular pruning on an annual basis so that you do not have to resort to heavy pruning. When regularly pruning your hibiscus, you can cut all branches at about 1/3 of their length, always making the cut above a node and with a 45° inclination.
- Step 5: Once the branches have been cut, look at the hibiscus again. If you see that the shape is not what you are looking for, you can make some small adjustments to achieve it.
- Step 6: If you notice any part of the foliage of your hibiscus that is sparsely populated with branches, pruning is the time to correct it. A good idea is to look for branches that have knots pointing towards the sparsely populated area and cut them above the knots. This will encourage growths that will be able to occupy that space.